Live Circuit

Reading The Release Schedule, a regular feature in Computer Trade Weekly (the industry organ), I was shocked to discover there are only 11 Spectrum products to be released between August and October, and, just seven of those on +3 disk also! And more shocked that 59 games are to appear for the Amiga in the same period. Are you shocked? I’m so used to the notion of the Spectrum having the most product. But then, it’s you, the buyers, whom the software houses cater for. Are you happy with the amount, and style, of software being released — if there was more product, would you buy it? What sort of software do you want to buy? Or have you given up? I want to smell burning paper across the country as your pens scribble your thoughts on the subject. Get your letters to me at: NEWSFIELD, LLOYD MANGRAM’S FORUM, CRASH. A £40 software voucher awaits the writer of the best letter!


Dear Lloyd
We all hate piracy and the one thing to defeat it is marketing. Having spent £10, what do we get apart from a good game? You look around the shops at records. The sleeves look good and tell you about the product. We must have more info about the game with it and more attractive and neat boxed-cassette holders with it. So come on software houses!
Phil Wain

I’ve cut most of Phil’s letter because it was going over old themes, but his point regarding packaging is worthy of note. Buyers do get extra value for money from additional sleeve notes or freebies within the packs, making the product appear a better buy than just a box, inlay and cassette. C’mon software houses — include details of the programmers, anything that makes the package a more essential thing to have — if you’re pushing out just a game in a box, what’s to stop people pirating? They won’t miss out on anything.


Dear Lloyd
Why, oh why do software companies say May Release for a game and then it comes out in June or July? This really annoys me. For two or three months before they release a game it is advertised and us poor buyers get all excited for a good game. We wait a long time, buy it and then it’s rubbish! Pathetic graphics, poor sound and quality, the lot.
Scott Woodrow

You old misery guts! Advertisements for games are usually booked many months in advance — here in the CRASH office it’s mid-August and software houses are booking ads for games they hope to release at Christmas! In the time between booking an ad and releasing the game, a lot of things may go wrong which can result in it being delayed. It’s not done on purpose and all advertisers try to be as up-to-date as possible.


Dear Lloyd
This message is to all people stuck on my brother’s game Rockfall. Firstly, I would like to point out that all levels are possible as they have been tested. (Check out playing tips if you’re still stuck — LM). Secondly, my brother’s plea in June about readers creating Rockfall 2 was not heeded, and I’ve received only four levels — I need 28! More please! Check out the details in CRASH June forum, and send them to: Rockfall 2 Levels, Andrew Collier. Please enclose a stamped addressed envelope if you want a reply or your entry to be returned. A few extra points on the size and composition for when you’re putting your designs on paper: The size is 32x64 blocks, including the outer wall. Having to collect 99 diamonds should be avoided if possible otherwise it gets boring. Even only one diamond to collect could work! Levels with the centre of attraction being the author’s initials will be filed in the waste paper basket. Don’t be offput, it’s quite easy!
Andrew Collier


Dear Lloyd
I couldn’t resist writing to you to say thank you very much to everyone in producing CRASH, you’ve made me and my children very happy. I bought my 48K Spectrum over five years ago and I managed to build up a collection of about 50–60 games tapes of various types, mainly budget as I was on a low income and couldn’t afford to buy many expensive tapes.

In early 1988 I moved house and unfortunately lost most of my tapes. I was grief stricken as all my favourite games were among them. Being very disheartened I put my Speccy away.

About four months ago my children told me about these computer magazines they had seen in the newsagents with free games tapes. I couldn’t believe it at first so I went to look for myself. I spotted CRASH. I bought a copy and I’m very glad I did.

I found the games were terrific (I loved Kemshu) and the reading was interesting and fun, on the whole it was very good value for money. I was overjoyed to find that not only was it possible to buy back copies of this great mag but some of the tapes contained games from my original collection so I immediately sent off an order for some back issues. I’m now totally hooked and will always buy CRASH. I’m still on a low income (due to being a single parent) but thanks to you I can now begin to build up my collection again. I am one very happy and grateful lady. My children also love the games so they too are happy. So I would like to send a big kiss to everyone on the CRASH team from us and a big thank you to all. Keep up the good work!
Mrs C Bellamy

Ching! Another satisfied customer! And thanks for those kisses!

BLEE! 16K!

Dear Lloyd
I have a 16K Spectrum, and! can’t get games for it. So, does anyone have some games they would like to sell in my area? Could CRASH put any 16K games on the tape?
S Bodycote

The only 16K game I can remember vividly was Sir Lancelot, that was about six years ago and, sadly, we can’t feature it on the tape. You may be lucky to find it in a bargain bucket at your local shop, but it really is time to upgrade!!


Dear Lloyd
Can you please tell me where I can get hold of a copy of Mario Bros and Super Mario Bros. Help!
Kristen Dyer

Mario Bros was published by Ocean a few years back, you could write to them and ask if it’s still available. Super Mario Bros is not available on the Speccy, nor is it ever likely to be as Nintendo, the game’s coin-op and consoles publisher, is very strict on copyright.


This month’s raver is James McConnell, and here is his list of the top five games to get into on the Speccy! What are your five favourite games? Put pen to paper and send your hit parade to the usual address.

  1. FANTASY WORLD DIZZY (CodeMasters)
    Cheap, cheerful, colourful! Wonderful soundtrack and well designed screens. What more do you want? (Apart from Dizzy 4!)
  2. BATMAN — THE MOVIE (Ocean)
    Okay, so it’s in monochrome, but the graphics are highly detailed. Very playable. But perhaps a bit too easy?
    In my opinion, better than the arcade. The scrolling on the 3D sections is superb — the coin-op’s animation was jerky.
  4. CASTLE MASTER (Domark)
    Bigger and better than the other Freescape games. The graphics are more recognisable than in, for instance, Darkside which was brill.
  5. GHOULS ’N’ GHOSTS (US Gold)
    Who cares that the graphics are small? They’re pleasing to the eye and well animated. Imaginative monsters and a good range of weapons make it terrific. Not to mention the 128K music...


While some very confused readers are waiting for help with problems featured last month, here’s another plea for help! from Keith Pritchard. What’s up Keith? ‘I’m looking for any MIDI programs for a 128K Spectrum, and if anyone can give me help regarding MIDI I would be grateful.’ Do you know about MIDI and think you could spare some time to help Keith? Drop him a line. When you do write, please print clearly as Keith is partially sighted. Don’t forget if you need help! or can help! somebody else, write to CRASH as soon as you can!


Would ya credit it? The irresistible dynamite duo, Tom and Jerry, are currently celebrating their 50th birthday! Crikes! To mark the occasion MGM/UA Home Video has released a video compilation of the pair’s best adventures, and completely hilarious they are too! A snip at £9.99, Tom and Jerry’s 50th Birthday Classics Vol. One brings you 56 minutes of action and the chance to join the Wild Cat Club! It’s out now, and Vols Two and Three are released in October and November respectively. So, why is CRASH telling you this? Is there a game on the way? Nope. We just adore Tom and Jerry.


Bargains a plenty, as usual, are to be had at the next two All Format Computer Fairs. The dates for your diaries are: November 4, and December 15 and the place to be on those dates is the New Hall of the Royal Horticultural Society, Greycoat and Elverton St. Westminster, London. The show opens at 10am and it costs £3 to get in.



Activision UK is to release just two more Speccy games before it says goodbye to the Speccy world forever; and goodbye to the Amstrad, C64, ST and Amiga world too. Employing 34 staff not long ago, Activision will be drastically slimmed down to a two-person operation dealing in the distribution of Nintendo and PC products. Mmmmmmm (maybe it should have advertised in CRASH a little bit more). But before it goes on said diet, the two games up for launch are Dragon Breed and Atomic Robokid.

Dragon Breed from the Irem coin-op, is the story of a young King called Kayas and his huge fire breathing battle dragon. It would seem that Kayas’ kingdom has been invaded by myriad nasty alien creatures. So the good king and his unusual steed take it upon themselves to kick ass. The game splits into six levels full of bloodthirsty aliens. Our lad sits astride the dragon and is capable of firing his little gun in five directions, whilst the dragon breathes flaming bolts from its mouth and is able to shield Kayas with its tail. November is the release date, watch out for a preview very soon.

Popping up in November is Atomic RoboKid. The hero of the title is a state of the art robotic war machine just graduated from the Universal University of Space Combat. His first mission is to travel deep into enemy territory and destroy everything that gets in the way (sounds like a good simple plan). You control Robo as he travels through 21 levels collecting add-on weapons while frying alien scum. Robo has two modes of locomotion: flying or walking and can inflict as much damage in either mode. And collect as many weapons as possible ’cos every third level pits you against a terrifying end of level creature. Again watch out for a preview soon.


From the belly of the heeeuuuge Newsfield publishing empire come two new magazines, giving CRASH twin sisters. Aw. The first new arrival was launched in July and is called GAMESMASTER INTERNATIONAL — the Independent Fantasy Gaming Monthly. Yes, it’s for weirdos who enjoy pretending to be trolls, orcs and suchlike. A snip at £1.75 every month, GMI brings you all the latest news, reviews and features of all that’s hot in the crazy, crazy world of RAGs, FRPGs, PBM, LRP and GURPS (whatever that lot means)! Actually, it’s rather good. T’other babe wrapped in swaddling clothes goes under the name of RAZE and is all about the brilliant games out on the consoles and swank 16-bit machines. Costing £1.95 every month, RAZE is launched September 27, replaces THE GAMES MACHINE and should shake up the gamesplaying world as it’s completely brilliant, and ’cos it comes with four mega posters every month! Coo! Billions of copies of both mags are flooding into the newsagents, but, if they’re all sold out before you get a chance to grab, you can obtain a copy, at cover price, from NEWSFIELD, Ludlow. And mark your envelopes RAZE or GMI.


Festive spirit abounds at US Gold as it announced the star line up for the Crimble season. Final Fight stars three guys — Cody, Hagar and Guy — who stalk city streets and kick seven shades of blue out of attacking baddies. Sounds original. Line Of Fire is a two-player Operation Thunderbolt derivative where you and a pal can grab the Uzis bolted to the cabinet and blast away at the on-screen bad guys. And finally Eswat sees you as a member of a futuristic police force stomping around in the latest combat armour and carrying a range of large and very lethal weapons. Remember kids, stay out of trouble.


The Chic Computer Club’s technical and hobbyist computer newsletter/magazine celebrates its 25th issue this month and is celebrating by sponsoring and attending the first Thames Valley Computer Show on October 6. The venue is The RG Hall at High Wycombe and promises to have lots to interest the computer hobbyist. Details of the informative newsletter and the club itself can be obtained from: The Chic Computer Club.


Spectravideo, the creators of the hugely popular Quickjoy joystick range have announced they will soon be dropping the prices of their complete 11 joystick range. Changes will range between £1 and £10. This is mainly because sales over the last six months have rocketed. So those of you in search of a new stick should look no further.


It was confirmed today that, indeed, CRASH is great. Selling almost 62,000 copies every month with a readership of over 200,000 — 200,000!!! — means CRASH’s sales have risen 17% in the last year! Hurrah! It’s not only the great British public who think CRASH is skill, the retailers reckon CRASH is the tops in the world of Speccy mags too! In a recent Computer Trade Weekly feature, CRASH was the only Speccy mag in a chart listing ‘the top 15 magazines read by the retail trade’ and the top of the three Spec mags in a chart showing ‘magazines aiding stocking decisions'! CTW also commented that the other two Speccy mags were ‘disappearing without trace’ from the charts, which we thought was jolly funny. Haw! Haw!